Erika Slezak

Actor
The jewel in the crown among ABC's powerhouse daytime actresses, Erika Slezak has played the role of the patrician, but approachable Victoria "Viki" Lord on "One Life to Live" (1968-present) since 1971. Whether it's ... Read more »
Born: 08/04/1946 in Hollywood, California, USA

Filmography

Actor (15)

The 40th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards 2012 - 2013 (TV Show)

Presenter

The 39th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards 2011 - 2012 (TV Show)

Actor

One Life to Live 1967 - 2010 (TV Show)

Actor

The 33rd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

Intimate Portrait: Erika Slezak 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

The 30th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

The 28th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

The 24th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

50 Years of Soaps: An All-Star Celebration 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

The 21st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

The 20th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Guiding Light: The Primetime Special 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

The 15th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

The 14th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

The jewel in the crown among ABC's powerhouse daytime actresses, Erika Slezak has played the role of the patrician, but approachable Victoria "Viki" Lord on "One Life to Live" (1968-present) since 1971. Whether it's portraying a split personality, love interest, fierce rival or devoted mother, Slezak's passionate performances have led to her being recognized as soaps' most honored actress.

Born in the entertainment capital of the world - Hollywood, CA, on Aug. 5, 1946 - Erika Alma Hermina Slezak grew up in a show business family. Her parents Walter Slezak, a renowned character actor (best known for "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre"), and Johanna, raised Slezak and her siblings in a German-speaking household. Slezak didn't learn English until she was five years old. She was educated at the Scared Hearts Schools in Greenwich, CT and Philadelphia, PA. (An exceptional student, Slezak skipped the 8th grade.) At 17, she was accepted into London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Upon completing her studies, Slezak established herself as a professional actress as a member of the Milwaukee Repertory Company and also appeared on stage at the Alley Theater in Houston, TX. In March of 1971, she joined the cast of "One Life to Live" as the third actress to assume the role of Victoria, daughter of controlling patriarch Victor Lord. Slezak played the part for her entire television career.

Slezak became a favorite among viewers as Victoria conquered split personalities; loved and lost Joe Riley, Clint Buchanan, Sloan Carpenter and Ben Davidson; battled nemesis Dorian Lord; delivered three children (Kevin, Joey and Jessica); and learned that she had also given birth to two daughters (Megan and Natalie) that she did not meet until they were grown. In 1988, Slezak played two roles on the show in a time-traveling storyline - Vicki and her ancestor Virginia Fletcher. In the '90s, Slezak was given the unique challenge of playing six (!) different personalities (Niki Smith, Jean Randolph, Princess, Tommy, Tori and Victor) in addition to her role as Vicki. Typical soap opera fare, but Slezak's powerful presence and acting chops elevated the often times outlandish plot lines.

At various times, Slezak did vacate the role of Vicki for brief periods. In 1981, soap hopper Christine Johnson replaced Slezak during her maternity leave. Actress Judith Barcroft briefly stepped in for Slezak in 1987. Traditionally, Slezak would take off the month of August to vacation with her family. In 1996, Slezak took a rare departure from daytime to appear in the TV movie "Full Circle," based on the Danielle Steel novel.

Throughout the years, Slezak was honored for both her talents and her lifetime loyalty to daytime TV, emerging as the soap genre's most rewarded actress at the annual Daytime Emmys. She took home the gold in 1984, 1986, 1992, 1995, 1996 and 2005.

Relationships

Johanna Elizabeth Slezak

Mother

Brian Davies Actor

Husband
Married Aug. 4, 1978

Amanda Davies

Daughter
born on October 29, 1981 father Brian Davies

Michael Davies

Son
born on January 23, 1980 father Brian Davies

Walter Slezak

Father
born in 1902 committed suicide in 1983

Leo Slezak

Brother
born on July 31, 1948

Ingrid Slezak

Sister
born on January 13, 1945

Leo Slezak

Grandfather
born in 1873 died in 1946

EDUCATION

Convent of the Sacred Heart

Greenwich , Connecticut

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

London , England
accepted at age 17

Milestones

2006

Featured on the SOAPnet series "Soapography"

2002

Profiled on Lifetime’s Intimate Portrait series

2000

Inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Silver Circle in recognition for her 25 years of achievements in television

1996

Cast in the NBC TV-movie "Danielle Steele's 'Full Circle'"

1974

Made NYC stage debut in off-Broadway production of "The Circle"

1970

Cast as Victoria Lord on the ABC daytime drama "One Life to Live"

1966

Stage debut in the title role of "Electra", Milwaukee (WI) Repertory Theatre

1966

Acted with Milwuakee Repertory Theatre for three seasons and appeared in "Hedda Gabler", "Othello" and "The Importance of Being Earnest"

Spent one season with the Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas

Bonus Trivia

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Was raised to speak German; did not learn English until she was five years old

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"One thing my father did for me was not discourage my ambitions. But he made sure I had no illusions about the acting profession, explaining that it was going to be harder for me because I had a famous father. I would have to prove myself more than other and, as usual, he was right."---Erika Slezak quoted in ABC publicity material.

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